First draft of personal statement

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
User avatar
labeauche
Posts: 27
Joined: Tue Jun 29, 2010 7:30 am

First draft of personal statement

Postby labeauche » Wed Sep 08, 2010 4:01 pm

This is a first draft of my Personal Statement. I cannot for the life of me figure out how to capture myself in essay form, so any comments would be greatly appreciated. My father, an H.R. type, asked why on earth I would go for an English major. I replied that I already spoke English, so i was halfway there. Maybe i should have looked into accounting...

In a July 2009 interview for the New York Times, Justice Ruth Ginsberg explained her attendance at President Obama’s congressional address soon after undergoing surgery, saying she wanted people to see that there was a female justice on the bench. Her comment struck me as strange, and it was not until I reread the article that I understood the weight her response. Justice Ginsberg not only commented on the makeup of the current court, and its disproportionate gender ratio, but she also pointed out what a homogeneous bench says to the country it must serve. Our legal system may guarantee equal protection under the law, but it does not always reflect the diverse makeup of the population it serves. A diverse legal system inspires confidence in its citizens because it allows individuals to see themselves reflected in their legal institutions. It shows through its inclusion that legal equality, regardless of race gender or creed, is not only possible but also valued.

I spent the fall of 2009 interning with the National Women’s Law Center, and realized what a lack of representation can mean for individuals and families. I was responsible for reading through the flood of emails from women seeking legal counsel, and spent weeks interviewing women struggling to access, but unable to afford, legal assistance. I listened helplessly as women recounted their inability to claim payment through their insurance for necessary medical treatment after suffering from domestic abuse, a practice still legal in several states(might clarify that the legal practice is denying payment and not the abuse). I learned with horror that rape is considered a pre-existing condition, and is grounds for denial of coverage. Through working with women, many of whom are just desperate to be heard, I began to realize the uneven hand by which my blessings were doled out to me. I have been fortunate to grow up in a loving family, to live in safe neighborhoods, and to have access to a strong education, and it is because of these blessings that I feel compelled to serve. A strong legal system is a necessary means and stepping stone towards a fair and just society, but without individuals willing to step up and act, segments of our population remain underserved.

Just as individual laws comprise only a small component within a much larger legal system, knowledge constitutes only a single building block within a successful legal career. Similarly, a legal education is wasted without the skills and dedication required for real world application. It is my ability to synthesize the knowledge I gain, to think critically and logically about the information presented and to create solutions to complex problems that makes me an ideal candidate for law school, and will eventually make me a successful lawyer. Over four years of college, and during my internship with the National Women’s Law Center, I have developed and utilized my writing and critical reasoning skills. These skills are important, but they mean little without both a real world function and the passion and commitment to use them. It is my goal to use these skills and talents to succeed in the classroom and to later pair them with a strong legal education in order to help others. The knowledge I gain in law school will continue to define and drive me far into the future. It is with knowledge, passion and focus that I hope to pursue a broad and challenging legal career, one that serves and protects our legal system’s founding principles and convictions.

It is my goal and passion to work in and for a system that protects and derives strength from individual autonomy. The pursuit of equal and fair representation inspires me to pursue a legal career focusing protecting rights guaranteed each citizen, regardless of race, ethnicity, or gender. Success in the law demands passion. Passion compels us to plan, to hope, and to dream for our future, and with this passion, we commit ourselves not only to achieve our own success, but also to serve others.
Last edited by labeauche on Wed Sep 08, 2010 4:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.

CanadianWolf
Posts: 10439
Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2010 4:54 pm

Re: First draft of personal statment

Postby CanadianWolf » Wed Sep 08, 2010 4:12 pm

Its okay as a law school personal statement first draft. You used four paragraphs to deliver two paragraphs of material. Your writing style may make some readers a bit uncomfortable. I wish that the final four paragraphs flowed as easily as the first paragraph about your major. Your theme is obvious & becomes tiresome due to repetition. Need some non-obvious insights based on your experiences.
Try to share your message succinctly in crisp, clear sentences.

P.S. The obvious & repetitious theme makes the essay too predictable, a touch monotonous & almost boring which may make some readers uncomfortable. Tighter sentences & fewer words should make this writing flow better & lessen the repetition.
Last edited by CanadianWolf on Wed Sep 08, 2010 5:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
labeauche
Posts: 27
Joined: Tue Jun 29, 2010 7:30 am

Re: First draft of personal statment

Postby labeauche » Wed Sep 08, 2010 4:25 pm

A bit uncomfortable?

User avatar
ShuckingNotJiving
Posts: 266
Joined: Wed Jun 30, 2010 11:24 am

Re: First draft of personal statement

Postby ShuckingNotJiving » Wed Sep 08, 2010 5:40 pm

This is good, but you have to recognize the droves of public interest-type essays the adcomms will be reading. Keeping that in mind, although the essay is good, it also has the possibility of being forgettable.

You are a bit long-winded in the first paragraph. I wouldn't spend so much time explaining Ginsberg's quote -- I mean, consider your audience; they'll get it.

You spend too much time waxing philosophical, which isn't necessarily bad, but many times you aren't really saying that much. For example:

Just as individual laws comprise only a small component within a much larger legal system, knowledge constitutes only a single building block within a successful legal career. Similarly, a legal education is wasted without the skills and dedication required for real world application


Don't you think such things kind of go without saying?

I think you need to add details to make this more compelling -- to make your convictions a bit clearer. You seem detached from this Personal Statement, and that constitutes a weakness.

Also, in the last paragraph -- don't use the word "utilize." Avoid it at all costs. Just say "use." Hope this helps.




Return to “Law School Personal Statements”

Who is online

The online users are hidden on this forum.